RLSS UK lifeguard and training assessor voted one of UK’s best older workers

12 October 2015

Janet Appleyard

An RLSS UK lifeguard and training assessor is one of Britain’s best older workers according to People Management magazine’s top 50 workers aged over 50.

Janet Appleyard, who works at Chadderton Wellbeing Centre, part of Oldham Community Leisure (OCL), was unaware that OCL’s head of human resources had nominated her for the awards, which are voted for by the public.
Janet came 7th in the prestigious awards, which included names like Prof. Stephen Hawkins, as well as a Lord, a Dame, doctors, a surgeon, a barrister and campaigners.

“Being voted one of Britain’s best workers means so much to me.  I just could not believe it – I’m over the moon,” she said.

The 61-year-old joined the company 24 years ago as a cleaner and café assistant to earn some money while her daughter was young.

“I couldn’t swim and my manager at the time encouraged me to attend adult learner sessions. From there, I progressed to attending a staff lifeguard training session to act as a casualty. This encouraged me to join Oldham Lifesaving club where I passed my RLSS UK pool lifeguard qualification in 1993,” she added.

Ten years ago, Janet became a trainer assessor completing both the RLSS UK and NARS qualifications, and she now works full time as a team leader and conducting lifeguard training sessions for staff.

She said: “I love working in the leisure industry and enjoy the unique camaraderie between customers and my fellow staff. Being a lifeguard has benefited my career enormously. I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.”

One of the high points of Janet’s lifeguarding career was when she helped rescue two girls while on holiday in Crete.

“A friend and I (also a lifeguard) went on a boat trip. While we were swimming in the sea, the boat moved its position which panicked two Russian girls. They were clinging on to each other and pulling each other under the water. My friend and I supported them when my friend’s husband, who was also swimming, suddenly got cramp. She went to assist him and I brought the two girls into the boat by myself. This made me very proud – it doesn’t bear thinking about what could have happened otherwise,” says Janet.

“I would and do encourage others to train and become lifeguards. Not only is it a fantastic job; it’s a life skill and great fun.”

For more information, please visit the website at www.rlss.org.uk

Visit our website at www.rlss.org.uk

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Call – 01789 773994

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Notes to Editors –

IQL UK is the trading subsidiary of The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), the drowning prevention charity.

RLSS UK is the leading provider of training and education in lifesaving, lifeguarding, water safety and life support skills in the UK. It is also the governing body for Lifesaving Sport.

Through IQL UK, there are nearly 90,000 RLSS UK Pool Lifeguards in the UK trained in the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ). Around 95 per cent of all pool lifeguards are trained by the RLSS UK. IQL UK also offers the National Pool Management Qualification and First Aid at Work qualifications as part of its portfolio.

The RLSS UK is one of three governing bodies involved in the development of a new qualification framework for the Aquatics industry.  The Register of Aquatics Professionals (RAPs), owned and operated by SkillsActive, provides a system of regulation to ensure that individuals working in the aquatic industry are appropriately qualified and have the competence to perform their specific roles.

Around 400 people drown in the UK every year and the charity aims to prevent drowning through water safety education through campaigns and also programmes.

RLSS UK awards and programmes teach a range lifesaving skills from life support (CPR) to water survival and rescue skills. Programmes include Rookie Lifeguard (for eight to12-year–olds), Survive and Save (for 12years+) and Save a Baby’s Life (a free course aimed at parents and carers of young children).

Drowning Prevention Week is the national campaign run by the Royal Life Saving Society UK to cut down the number of accidental drowning that occur each year and support families affected by drowning. Drowning Prevention Week 2015 will run from June 20 to 28.

For more information and interview/spokesperson opportunities contact Porcha Treanor by emailing porchatreanor@rlss.org.uk or calling 01789 774495.